Advice to the Tertiary Education Commission

Advice provided by the Hawke's Bay RSLG to the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) in April 2023 to inform supplementary guidance and investment for 2024.

Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) are part of a joined-up approach to labour market planning that will see our workforce, education and immigration systems working together to better meet the differing skills needs across the motu. They are a fundamental part of the drive to build productive, inclusive, sustainable and resilient regions.

RSLGs have the ability to inform the TEC investment of tertiary education organisations in 2024 through the provision of specific regional advice. This document is the vehicle for this advice.

About this advice

Broadly, the advice in this document will include:

  • key labour shortages in Hawke’s Bay and the 4 districts within (Wairoa, Napier, Hastings, and Central Hawke’s Bay)
  • an overview of current engagements with relevant Workforce Development Councils and Tertiary Education Organisations around tertiary education related activities
  • tertiary education specific advice for the TEC as it relates to direct investment.

This document is in support of the Regional Workforce Plan which includes a wealth of qualitative data as it relates to the first areas of focus for the Hawke’s Bay RSLG:

  • Primary sector
  • Construction
  • Wāhine (women) in the workforce
  • School (kura) transitions
  • Work ready job seekers

Hawkes Bay Regional Workforce Plan

All of our mahi is founded on the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi (The Treaty of Waitangi):

  • An active treaty partnership: our mahi is always done in partnership and whānau are intrinsic to decisions and conversations.
  • A balancing principle: economic drivers are balanced against the holistic needs of people – our conversations and decisions consider all dimensions.
  • A present versus future principle: as a group we respond to what is happening today and at the same time we consider what this means tomorrow.
  • A foresight principle: we consistently cast our thoughts towards the future so that our communities are prepared and equipped to flourish, and sustainable and productive employment as kaimahi deserve decent work and respectable workplaces.

Cyclone Gabrielle

In addition to the workforce challenges previously identified by the Hawke’s Bay RSLG in the Regional Workforce Plan, the region is now facing additional widespread challenges due to Cyclone Gabrielle.

The cyclone has impacted:

  • regional infrastructure
  • housing
  • marae
  • businesses
  • education providers
  • the wellbeing of the people of Hawke’s Bay.

The region is focused on a recovery and rebuild that will provide future generations with resilient infrastructure, environmental and personal resilience. Through the rebuild, consideration will be given to increasing positive employment outcomes for our people, particularly for rangatahi and Māori, and how the economy can rebuild in such a way that is underpinned by technological advances, higher skills, and increased productivity. The voice and needs of mana whenua and the community must remain at the centre of all recovery activities and strategic workforce planning.

Download the document

This document will draw on relevant labour market statistics and projections, paired with knowledge and advice from employers, iwi, unions, local and central government, Workforce Development Councils and other labour market actors.

While the primary purpose is to inform the TEC on the Hawke’s Bay RSLG’s recommended investment in the region, the RSLG welcomes training providers, industry and kaimahi (employees) to use this information to make informed decisions around training pathways and skills attainment.

Read the document online

The following pages are an HTML version of the Hawke's Bay region skill needs – Advice for the Tertiary Education commission document.

In this section


Regional Skills Leadership Groups (RSLGs) are part of a joined-up approach to labour market planning that will see our workforce, education and immigration systems working together to better meet the differing skills needs across the motu. They are a fundamental part of the drive to build a productive, inclusive, sustainable and resilient regions.

Hawke’s Bay RSLG Recommendations to the TEC

Tertiary education is a longer-term solution to skill needs, however there are opportunities for kaimahi and ākonga to have access to suitable training in the Hawke’s Bay that will aid in the recovery from Cyclone Gabrielle right now. There are resulting significant short-term impacts on the regional workforce, including displaced horticulture and viticulture kaimahi, and a shortage of skilled kaimahi, particularly within construction and infrastructure industries.

Skill shortages in Hawke’s Bay

The skill shortages set out below highlight the industries and occupations where there are projected skill shortages looking out to 2028.

Cyclone Gabrielle

On 14 February 2023 Cyclone Gabrielle hit Aotearoa New Zealand with record rainfall and flooding. Hawke’s Bay was one of the hardest hit regions leaving many communities and businesses damaged or destroyed.

Projected regional industry outlook

Hawke’s Bay currently has 12.5% of the regional workforce employed in the manufacturing sector, the largest employing sector, which is projected to be overtaken by Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing by 2028. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing is currently the second largest workforce in the region. Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing job openings will have the highest job openings in the next 5 years.

Projected regional skills outlook

This section has a predominant focus on forecasts that provide an indication of the skills required to fill the future workforce needs for the previous and current focus areas of the Hawke’s Bay RSLG – the Primary (Horticulture and Meat Processing), Construction & Infrastructure, and Health sectors.

Regional labour market trends

This section looks at population trends, employment indicators, trends for rangatahi and youth not in education as well as employment and training trends.

What we have heard

What we’ve heard from tertiary education organisations, industry and kaimahi in Hawke’s Bay.

Alignment with Workforce Development Councils

This advice alignment has been presented with a distinct focus on the Hawke’s Bay RSLG’s priority workforce sectors of Primary, Construction and Health.


Hawke’s Bay is a resilient region and will build back ‘better, safer and smarter’. The region is committed to a rebuild that is underpinned by the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and ensures due respect is given to the voice and needs of mana whenua and community.

Last updated: 15 May 2023 Last reviewed: 24 July 2023